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Things to do in

Galway

Discover castles, cliffs, and crafts in this lively Irish city by the sea where music is always in the air.

Our most recommended things to do in Galway

From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour

1. From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour

Discover the history and landscapes of Ireland on a day trip from Galway with a local driver/guide. Marvel at centuries-old buildings and striking natural features before taking in one of the best views the country has to offer from the Cliffs of Moher. Stop for plenty of photo opportunities. Meet your trained driver/guide outside the Kinlay Hostel. Climb aboard the coach to head to your first stop, Dunguaire Castle on the outskirts of Kinvara. Looking at the 16th-century medieval tower house castle, you'll discover why it is one of the most photographed castles in the whole of Ireland. Then, drive through the unique glaciokarst landscape of the Burren and past the 12th-century Corcomroe Abbey, a Cistercian monastery noted for its distinguished carvings and rich ornamentation. Then, follow the Wild Atlantic Way as it wends its way along the coast of County Clare. Pass Black Head and Fanore Strand, Discovery Points on the Wild Atlantic Way, from where you can marvel at views of the three Aran Islands, Inishmore (Inis Mor), Inishmann (Inis Meain), and Inisheer (Inis Oirr), locking in Galway Bay, and in the distance the Connemara mountains. Next, stop for photos at Doolin pier. Feel the Atlantic wind in your face and admire the power of the sea as it crashes onto the shore. After you've worked up an appetite on the beach, tuck into lunch at the Doolin Hotel (not included). Try any of the local seafood dishes. You won't be disappointed. Then, head to your main stop of the day, the Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy 2 hours at this Signature Point along the Wild Atlantic Way. Admire one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Rising 214 meters out of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cliffs of Moher offer one of the most amazing views in Ireland. After the Cliffs of Moher, return to Galway via Lisdoonvarna, famous for its annual matchmaking festival.

Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey & Galway Day Tour

2. Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey & Galway Day Tour

Embark on a guided day trip to discover the iconic Cliffs of Moher by bus. Visit Galway and its stunning surrounding landscape and see famous landmarks, including Dunguaire Castle and Kilmacduagh Monastery. Depart Dublin at 6:45 AM and journey through the flat open plain of the Curragh. Pass the Irish National Stud thoroughbred horse breeding facility as your guide shares a wealth of history and information. Head to the ruins of Kilmacduagh Monastery and its roundhouse—unique for the way it leans over by more than 2 feet. Spend 15-20 minutes here. Then, arrive at the Cliffs of Moher for a view of the Atlantic Ocean and explore on your own for around 1.5 hours. Go to the visitor's centre for the interactive Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience with a large multimedia screen displaying a bird's-eye view from the cliffs, and a video from the underwater caves. Next, discover the lunar landscapes of The Burren with a 15–20-minute visit and hear about the many secrets of this atypical landscape, home to the warmest ground temperature in Ireland. Arrive in the city of Galway, where you will have around 1 hour to explore on your own. Discover its old-world charm on cobblestone streets that evoke an authentic Ireland of times gone by. Then drive along the coastal route of the Wild Atlantic Way to Kinvara, passing Dunguaire Castle and the 12 Bens mountain range along the way. Return to Dublin and get dropped off at the meeting point at around 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

From Galway: Aran Islands Day Trip & Cliffs of Moher Cruise

3. From Galway: Aran Islands Day Trip & Cliffs of Moher Cruise

Take a day trip to Inisheer (Inis Oirr) from Galway and discover the ancient churches and castles on the smallest of the Aran Islands. Visit the Cliffs of Moher and admire the coastal scenery. From the meeting point in Galway, get driven south along the Wild Atlantic Way and into the lunar-like Burren region. From there, head to the picturesque fishing village of Doolin where you’ll board the ferry to Inisheer. Once there, explore the island's churches, castles, lighthouses, shipwrecks, cafes, and pubs. Discover one of Ireland's most beautiful beaches and, if you like, take a pony and carriage, hire a bicycle, or stroll the country roads. Stop for a hearty meal at a traditional local pub before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher. You will receive free entry to the cliffs and the eco-sensitive visitor center. Take a stroll along the cliff edge and consider how tiny everything looks from above. Once you depart the cliffs,l take the coast road home, following the Wild Atlantic Way. Make one last stop at the stunning Baby Cliffs in Ballyreen where you can walk atop the Burren, before returning to Galway.

From Galway: Cliffs of Moher Half-Day Express Coach Trip

4. From Galway: Cliffs of Moher Half-Day Express Coach Trip

Experience the Cliffs of Moher independently with a round-trip express coach service from Galway. Get access to the visitors center on arrival, and enjoy a full 2 hours to explore at your own pace. Go for a stroll along the nature trails of the 214-meter high cliffs and get breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Look for up to 20 species of birds found in the area during nesting season. Learn more about the cliffs at the interactive exhibits, displays and virtual reality aerial tours of the visitors center before the return coach service to Galway.

From Galway: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey Full-Day Guided Tour

5. From Galway: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey Full-Day Guided Tour

Experience the unspoiled natural beauty and rugged landscapes of Connemara on this day trip from Galway. Travel in an airconditioned bus and explore Kylemore Abbey and its elegant gardens with the included entry ticket. Stop in the charming mountain village of Leenane and take in the views of Ireland's only fjord at Killary. Then, get 2 hours to explore Kylemore Abbey and go for a nature walk in the Victorian Walled Gardens. Continue along the coast to the pretty Gaelic-speaking village of An Spideal to take a stroll amongst the many traditional thatched roof homes and admire the beautiful beaches.

Galway: Scenic Cruise of Corrib River and Lake

6. Galway: Scenic Cruise of Corrib River and Lake

Set sail from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city. Travel leisurely down the River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, the Republic of Ireland's largest lake. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere while taking breathtaking photos of castles and other sites of historical and cultural interest. Lough Corrib is home to hundreds of islands and is a haven for many marine and wildlife species, so there will be plenty of scenic views to photograph. A full-service bar serves award-winning Irish coffee and other refreshments. The upper deck and fully heated saloon area are suitable for all-weather cruising. Toilet facilities are available onboard.

From Galway: Connemara and Cong Full-Day Tour

7. From Galway: Connemara and Cong Full-Day Tour

Experience the wild beauty of Ireland on this full-day tour of Connemara from Galway. Visit Cong Village, which was featured in the classic "The Quiet Man" and Kylemore Abbey. First, stop at Cong Abbey, an Augustinian Abbey dating back to the early 12th century and one of the best examples of medieval ecclesiastical architecture.  Enter Cong Village and explore Cong Woods, stroll around the village that was in the 1950s classic movie, ‘The Quiet Man,’ or feed the ducks on the edge of Lough Corrib - the Republic of Ireland's largest lake. Admire Connemara's hidden valleys upon entering on the Lough Nafooey route.  Continue to Kylemore Abbey and enjoy a lunch break. Entrance into Kylemore Abbey and Gardens is not included in the tour price (purchase discounted entrance tickets from your driver on the day of the tour).  Leaving Kylemore in the late afternoon, drive through Inagh Valley, Maam Cross, and Oughterard. Complete the circuit of Lough Corrib before arriving home to Galway City. 

From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & Burren Tour

8. From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & Burren Tour

Discover two of Ireland's most spectacular national landmarks on a Cliffs of Moher and Burren Tour from beautiful Galway. Start with a stop in the quaint fishing village of Kinvara to see Ireland’s famous Dunguaire Castle. Visit the rolling hills of The Burren. Discover the Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb, the Poulnabrone Dolmen, and Ballyalban Fairy Fort. Pass through Kilfenora, home to the famous Celtic Crosses, and Lisdoonvarna, home to the world’s famous matchmaking festival. Make your way to the coastal village of Doolin for a lunch stop before visiting the 200-meter high, 8km long Cliffs of Moher. Return to Galway via the Coast Road and make a short stop at the lunar-like landscape of the Burren.

Galway: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

9. Galway: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Galway is a popular city on Ireland's West Coast, attracting tens of thousands of tourists each year. This picturesque town is jam packed with traditional shops, pubs and eateries, as well as boasting an interesting historic background. There's no better way to discover it all than on this city sightseeing Galway tour.  Starting at Eyre Square, passengers will immediately be greeted by some of Galway's interesting history as the bus approaches The Browne Doorway. This feature is famous for being a doorway to the homes of some of Galway's wealthiest merchants and members of the Tribes of Galway. Other historic landmarks along the route include the Spanish Arch and the striking Lynch's Castle. The castle is one of the finest examples of Irish Gothic style architecture in the city - having been built in the 16th century. Today, Galway is recognized by many for being the focal point of Ed Sheeran's Number 1 Single, Galway Girl. If you're a fan, make sure you hop-off at either The Long Walk or O'Connors Pub, which were both featured in the popular music video. If you'd like to experience the more vibrant side of Galway, hop-off at the Salthill Village. Here, you'll find what used to be a traditional fishing village, but today is one of the city's most lively and popular tourist spots. Enjoy a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants along the harbor whilst enjoying beautiful, picturesque views. To see some of the city's most impressive architectures, make sure you hop off at the Galway Cathedral stop and pay a visit. The full list of tour stops are -  1. Eyre Square (Main Stop) 2. Forster Street Hotel 3. Spanish Arch (Galway City Museum) 4. Wild Atlantic Way Mid-Point 5. Black Rock Diving Board 6. Cashelmara 7. Salthill Camping & Caravan Parks 8. Circle of Life Garden 9. Galway Bay Seaview Apartments 10. O'Connors Famous Pub 11. National University of Ireland Galway 12. Galway Cathedral

From Galway: Connemara National Park Full Day Tour

10. From Galway: Connemara National Park Full Day Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Galway on this guided tour to Connemara National Park. Learn about the traditions, music, and language of the region before enjoying free time to explore the park and hike Diamond Hill. Start by meeting at the meeting point or making use of the free pickup option. En route to and from the park, your driver will break up the journey by making frequent photo and coffee stops and allowing you to soak in as much of Connemara as you can. With the help of your driver-guide, learn all you need to know about the region and plan how you'll spend your time at the Connemara National Park. Plus, get a chance to hear some local traditional music. Upon arrival at the park, your driver will explain your return time with you before you enjoy free time for two hours. Shortly after arriving, prepare for a hike on Diamond Hill. There are three primary hiking routes at the National Park, each varying in difficulty and length. Each route starts and finishes at a welcome center and cafe/tea rooms. After the two hours of hiking, meet your driver at the predetermined drop-off point and start to make your way back to Galway. The return route shows you the coastal side of Connemara, providing a different view from the outbound route.

Other Sightseeing Options in Galway

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What people are saying about Galway

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 13,826 reviews

This tour is worth the price if you want to see a few key locations in Ireland in a day! Our guide was very knowledgeable of the locations we visited on the tour and Ireland in general and shared a lot of interesting information, so that was a positive addition to the overall tour experience. The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking if the weather is in your favor, and luckily, we had partially sunny skies the entire time we were there with this tour! The only downside to the tour is we didn't get much time to walk the Cliffs of Moher or explore Galway. You really need at least 3 hours each to explore both places pretty thoroughly - 1.5 hours just isn't enough time.

Peter was very knowledgeable and friendly. He gave good advice about what to do at each location we visited. I feel like I learned a lot about Ireland in a short time. I'm very glad I booked the tour with Finn McCool. If I ever come back to Ireland I will book another tour.

John did a great job on our trip to Kylemore Abbey and Connemara. He provided us with information on points of interest along the way,made several stops and gave us time to take pictures. Also provided a couple of tips on how to make best use of our time at the Abby.

The trip is well organize, our driver and guide Allan was really nice and funny. We had a great time. The cliffs are magnificient!

An amazing coastline which we would have totally missed if we hadn't done the tour.